Friday, December 30, 2005

Top 10 Albums of 2005

It's that time of year again. I have to be honest, I look forward to this list all year, in between listens of my "Christmas Music" playlist I have been listening to all the music I have that came out in 2005 trying to make the all important decision as to whether or not they made "the list" and where they ranked on that list. Well, Here they are...

JR's Top Ten Albums of 2005!:

1. Sufjan Stevens - Illinois

The Good: This is one of those albums that comes along every few years or so that changes how you listen to music. You can't really classify Sufjan as Folk, because he is anything but simplistic, but his songs lean heavy on his incredible ability to tell a story through music. In Illinois, Sufjan uses various string arrangements, and horns to lead the listener through personal recollections, historical narratives, and strange facts to take you to, both lyrically and musically, the great state of Illinois. On the surface what looks like songs about cities, people (even serial killer John Wayne Gacy, Jr ,), and events that take place in Illinois are really songs about fear, hope, adolescents, and faith. In the end Illinois ends up being less about place then spirit. If you need further proof of it's greatness just read the reviews posted at Amazon, everyone should own this album.

The Bad: The length, 73 min. is a lot of time to spend in Illinois, it gets a little on the tedious side the first few times you listen.

2. Ryan Adams & the Cardinals - Cold Roses (no, NOT Bryan Adams...)

The Good: Easily my favorite Ryan Adams solo effort to date, this is a truly gorgeous album. In Cold Roses, Adams takes a step back to his "Alt. Country" (I hate that term) roots after a string of a few albums that were defiantly more "rock and roll" then his early works. Back is the pedal steal and a little bit of twang, but not in an annoying sense. Adams nails his own sound better then he has since leaving Whiskytown. Also it's a double album, so twice the music!

The Bad: It's a double album, which isn't bad in itself (see the good list), but there are a few songs that feel like they could have, and would have in a normal release, been left off this effort. Also, this is more a complement then anything else, but he reminds me (as do most good Alt. Country groups) of what country music could and should be if it weren't full of a bunch of Backstreet Boy look-a-like, wannabe-cowboy, pop-rock singing rednecks wailing about sticking their "boots" places were boots don't belong. So for as much as I love Alt. Country and old Country, I will continue to claim a strong hatred for "country music".

3. Derek Webb – Mockingbird

The Good: Wow, just wow! Webb has done it again! This could have broke into the top two, but I have had it for a totally of 23.5 hours and have only got to listen to it about 5 times all the way through. Musically he breaks into new territory for him, and does it beautifully. Not what you would expect from the former member of Caedmon's Call if that was the only place you knew him from. With Mockingbird you hear a really strong Beatles (Sgt. Peppers/Magical Mystery era) influence along with some Elliott Smith, The Shins, and a touch of Wilco going on there. Lyrically Webb is himself again, not afraid to speak the truth at any cost. This is his most controversial album yet, it is fun to see the progression of what God has laid on his heart and the willingness he has to lay his neck on the chopping block to share it.

The Bad: Late release date, so my opinion is not fully formed or completely accurate (as I am still gitty about it). Musically not as experimental as his last effort, there is less risk to the music side of this album than I See Things Upside Down, but he is making up for that in risk through lyrical content.

4. Elbow – Leaders of the Free World

The Good: This is the first album I have heard from Elbow, and I love it. Thanks to Chad for introducing me to it. This album has kind of a Coldplay meets early Radiohead thing going on. Think Coldplay if they didn't care about pop radio success and had something to say. Musically it is one of the more interesting albums I own, I feel like I find something new with each listen, which keeps me coming back to it, it's not really one to just play in the background, this is why it made it to number 4.

The Bad: Sometimes the Radiohead and Coldplay comparisons are a little to easy to make. Also, lyrically, it says something, which is good, but it is nothing new really.

5. Death Cab For Cutie – Plans

The Good: The (almost) perfect blend of lyrical and musical styles has always been a strength of Death Cab to me, and they don't disappoint with their latest.Ben Gibbard mesmerizes me with his ability to tell a story rhythmically and in such detail while still letting the mood and emotion of the song be told by the music. The perfectly combination of catchy pop and moody emotion driven ballads without becoming too "emo" (it's a very fine line folks).

The Bad: Extremely similar to all their other efforts. Overall, I am still not convinced it is better then their last one, Transatlantcism.

6. Sandra McCracken – The Builder and the Architect

The Good: Beautiful. This is one of the most lovely worship albums I have ever heard. In The Builder... McCracken takes 18th and 19th century hymns, mixed seamlessly with a few she wrote herself, and puts them to her own acoustic stylings. I have had the opportunity to see Sandra live a couple times with her husband (Derek Webb) and her voice is amazing. This album displays Sandra's amazing voice better then any of her previous commercial releases. A great example of a truly amazing singer/songwriter at her best.

The Bad: I have never been a huge fan of her commercial releases because they just don't seem to capture her live sound, this album comes a lot closer, but it's still not quite there. I come away from a Sandra studio album with a feeling that she is musically playing it safer then she really wants to. I feel like she has an inner Gillian Welch waiting to come out, and I want to hear it.

7. Coldplay – X&Y

The Good: Coldplay has an amazing sonic, atmospheric sound that I have not heard duplicated successfully, this album continues that tradition. One of my favorite bands of the last 5 years. X&Y is a great album to follow up one of the most successful, both commercially and musically, albums of the last half decade, Rush of Blood To The Head. The whole album is strong and flows well together, but there are defiantly some tracks that stand out as near perfection. The Johnny Cash tribute song, "Kingdom Come", is one of my favorite Coldplay tracks ever.

The Bad: Chris Martin continues to write songs that sound deep but say very little. They defiantly played it safe with their sound and continued with what has made them popular as apposed to exploring what they can go musically at the risk of popularity, I am never a fan of the safe road. I still like Parachutes better.

8. Over The Rhine – Drunkard's Prayer

The Good: One of my favorite bands of all time. Drunkard's Prayer is a passionate and emotional reflection of two people relearning the joys of love, laughter, and each others company. Karin Bergquist's voice is at it's smokiest in this album and she has one of my favorite voices in the industry already. The stand-up bass, cello and sax along with Linfords graceful piano playing float through the air like smoke in a jazz club. This is an album of real, honest songs about love and faith, not the watered down junk we are use-to, like a relationship it is heavy at times, hard at times, funny at times and just plain fun at times. The album ends on a fun romantic note, a beautiful cover of "My Funny Valentine".

The Bad: Not as original, risky, interesting, and just overall great as their last album, Ohio, but it is hard to live up to that. Some of the songs sound too similar to each other.

9. Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning

The Good: Conner Oberst is a musical genius.Emmylou Harris adds perfect harmonies to this collection of well crafted acoustic alt. country ballads. Released along side his Digital Ashes from a Digital Urn this was the better of the two very good Bright Eyes albums released that day. I love the unpolished feel of a Bright Eyes album. Oberst is a great songwriter, mature well beyond his years in that aspect. This album moves a little bit away from his famous self pity of previous albums, while still emotional it's a much more mature emotion.

The Bad: I little more "studio" then previous albums, I like the raw un-mixed sound of the older albums, it lends well to his vocal stylings and musical content. It is way to early for the Dylan comparisons that some like to throw around, hopefully he doesn't kill himself or overdose before he can have any chance of living up to those comparisons.

10. Switchfoot– Nothing Is Sound

The Good: One of the most culturally relevant albums of the year. Jon Foreman confronts issues that pledge young americans such as the loneliness and hopelessness that can be a part of living in a country driven by excess, but, as always, showing glimpses' of a hope that can only be found in God. Just straight up great, catch, guitar driven rock and roll music that will lift your spirit but not without making you think first. They are staying true to their message and original style despite the major market success they have enjoyed the last few years.

The Bad: Not as musically strong as New Way to Be Human (1999), but I like it more then The Beautiful Letdown (2003). Although this is a great album, I think they have better in them, I can't wait to hear it.


(what can I say, it was a great year in music, I would recommend any of these albums as well)

Jars of Clay – Redemption Songs
The Choir - O How The Mighty Have Fallen
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Andrew Peterson – The Far Country
Moby – Hotel
David Crowder Band – A Collision
Beck - Guero
Franz Ferdinand - You Could Have It So Much Better
Bright Eyes - Digital Ashes From A Digital Urn
Pat Metheny Group - The Way Up
Jack Johnson - In Between Dreams
Dave Matthews Band - Stand Up
Depeche Mode - Playing the Angel
David Gray - Life In Slow Motion
Gorillaz - Demon Days

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Well, it's sorta late, but whatever....

Jenny and I got back from Washington (state) on Tuesday night after spending a wonderful Christmas with friends and family. It was great to see everyone again, and we are truely sorry to those we missed. It was a little stressful trying to make 5 difrent family Christmases in 6 days but it was a blast too. The weather sucked there, although it was much warmer then it had been in KC the week we left, it pretty much rained all week and the mountain never came out all the way.

I relize now though how much one can be torn between two places, it is hard to feel like KC is home and still have such a place in my heart for Olympia. It was great to get back to Kansas City, but it sure was hard to leave Olympia.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas as well!

Sunday, December 11, 2005


I have been a member of the Nazarene Church for most of my life, I grew up attending a Nazarene church, I went to a Nazarene College (Northwest Nazarene University), and I married in a Nazarene church to a Nazarene woman by a Nazarene pastor. The only time since I was 4 that I didn't have a connection to the Nazarene church was for about 8 months in late 2004 and early 2005 when we left our Nazarene church for a Methodist church, then I accepted a job offer at the Nazarene Publishing House in Kansas City (Home of the Nazarene Theological Seminary, Nazarene World Headquarters, and of course the Publishing House).

All this time, the only explanation I have ever heard for the name "Nazarene" is that Jesus was from Nazareth, therefore a Nazarene, so we use the word. Well, today in church I learned there is much more to it then that.

2000 years ago Nazareth was, how do you say it... the ghetto. It was the "wrong side of the tracks", the bad part of town, where the losers and outcasts hung out. It was odd that Joseph, a descendant of the great King David ended up in Nazareth. Even odder was the idea that this was the hometown of the great King that had come to free his people once and for all.

In the late 1800's when Phineas Bresee and friends were sitting around talking about starting a church, they were contemplating a name for this church. One night Pheneas went to bed thinking and praying about it, the next morning he presented the name "Church of the Nazarene" meaning, church of the poor, the outcast, the downtrodden, the trash of society. He felt this is who Christ ministered to, and who the church should be ministering to.

Never before did I feel so proud of my Nazarene heritage. A church founded on reaching the "least of these", that is a church I want to be a part of. It makes me sad to see so many Nazarene churches abandoning these roots. So many who are not proud of the name "Nazarene". "It's not good marketing, it scares people off", they say as they hide their tradition behind labels like "community church". It is very comfortable for us to hide in our all white, upper middle class Christian country clubs of churches, but Christianity is not supposed to be about comfort. If we get comfortable we are missing the whole point. It is not comfortable sitting in a church surrounded by the poor, the outcast and the "sinners". The reason I think that it's so uncomfortable for us, is that it shows us how much we truly fit right in with that crowed, how we are all really, at our best, the least of these, sinners.

I hope Nazarene churches will learn to re-embrace the name "church of the wrong side of the tracks" and welcome in all the sinners and outcasts to join with the rest of us who are already here, maybe then we will stop pretending we are not.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Andrew Peterson Concert

Jenny and I got to see the Andrew Peterson Christmas show in Elkhorn Nebraska this weekend, one word, amazing. It featured a Christian singer-songwritter all star line-up of: Andrew Peterson, Derek Webb, Sandra McCracken, Gabe Scott, Ben Shive, Marcus Myers, Andy Gullahorn, Jill Phillips, Garrett Buell (Caedmon's Call), Andy Osenga(formerly in the Normals and now CC), and Cason Cooley (formerly in the Normals, and now Derek Webb's band).

It was a two part show with a singer-songwritter roundtable to start with, featuring Peterson, Webb, McCracken, Shive, Osenga, and Phillips. They each played a song, and it went around twice. All the performances were great, but Shive stole the show with pure comedy with both songs claiming "I know I am not going to get the unspoken award for best song, so I guess I am shooting for class clown. His song "North Hills Mall" had the crowed busting up.

After a short intermission they came back out with the full band and performed Behold the Lamd of God all the way through, amazing musical work by all the musicians, great guitar work. Add that to one of the most powerful retellings of the Christmas story that I have ever heard, plus art for each of the segments of the story. Easily the most powerful concert I have ever seen. I was fighting back tears a couple of times. Definatly something that is going ot become a Caines family Christmas tradition.

If they are making a stop near you I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Real Hard Cash

Russell D. Moore on the Path of the Man in Black from a Touchstone Magazine article

There was an empty seat at this year’s MTV Music Video Awards. The late Johnny Cash wasn’t there. It’s not as though Cash frequented the Generation X/Y annual awards program. He was old enough to be the grandfather of the most seasoned performer on the platform. Still, two years ago, even while he was sick in a hospital, the Man in Black was there.

At the 2003 awards show, Cash’s video “Hurt” was nominated for an award—up against shallow bubblegum pop acts such as that of Justin Timberlake. Cash didn’t win. But the showing of the video caused an almost palpable discomfort in the crowd. The video to the song, which was originally performed by youth band Nine Inch Nails, features haunting images of his youthful glory days—complete with pictures of his friends and colleagues at the height of their fame, now dead.

As the camera pans Cash’s wizened, wrinkled face, he sings about the awful reality of death and the vanity of fame: “What have I become? My sweetest friend/ Everyone I know goes away in the end/ You could have it all/ My empire of dirt/ I will let you down, I will make you hurt.”

Whereas Nine Inch Nails delivered “Hurt” as straight nihilism, straight out of the grunge angst of the Pacific Northwest’s music scene, Cash gives it a twist—ending the video with scenes of the crucifixion of Jesus. For him, the cross is the only answer to the inevitability of suffering and pain.

Fleeting Fame

“It’s all fleeting,” he told MTV News. “As fame is fleeting, so are all the trappings of fame fleeting; the money, the clothes, the furniture.” This could not be in more marked contrast to the culture of the popular music industry (whatever the genre), a culture of superficiality, self-exaltation, and sexual libertinism.

Perhaps this is the reason Cash remained—to the day of his death—a subject of almost morbid curiosity for a youth culture that knows nothing of “I Walk the Line.” At the 2003 awards show, 22-year-old pop sensation Justin Timberlake, beating Cash for the video award, demanded a recount. Why would twenty-something hedonists revere an old Baptist country singer from Arkansas?

In one sense, the Cash mystique was nothing new. For the whole length of his career, onlookers wondered what made him different from the rest of the Hollywood/Nashville celebrity axis. Much of it had to do with the “man in black” caricature he cultivated. Cash joked that fans would often say to him, “My father was in prison with you.” Of course, Cash never served any serious jail time at all, but he could never shake the image of a hardened criminal on the mend. People really seemed to think that he had “shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.”

That’s probably because of just how authentic and evocative his songs of prison life were. “Folsom Prison Blues,” for instance, just seems to have been penned by someone lying on a jailhouse cot listening to a train whistle in the night: “There’s probably rich folks eating in a fancy dining car/ They’re probably drinking coffee and smoking big cigars/ Well, I know I had it coming/ I know I can’t be free/ But those people keep a’movin’, and that’s what tortures me.”

The prison imagery seemed real to Cash because, for him, it was real. He knew what it was like to be enslaved, enslaved to celebrity, to power, to drugs, to liquor, and to the breaking of his marriage vows. He was subject to, and submissive to, all the temptations the recording industry can parade before a man. He was a prisoner indeed, but to a penitentiary of his own soul. There was no corpse in Reno, but there was the very real guilt of a lifetime of the self-destructive idolatry of the ego.

It was through the quiet friendships of men such as Billy Graham that Cash found an alternative to the vanity of shifting celebrity. He found freedom from guilt and the authenticity of the truth in a crucified and resurrected Christ. And he immediately identified with another self-obsessed celebrity of another era: Saul of Tarsus. He even authored a surprisingly good biography of the apostle, with the insight of one who knows what it is like to see the grace of Jesus through one’s own guilt as a “chief of sinners.”

He Connected

Even as a Christian, Cash was different. He sang at Billy Graham crusades and wrote for Evangelical audiences, but he never quite fit the prevailing saccharine mood of pop Evangelicalism. Nor did he fit the trivialization of cultural Christianity so persistent in the country music industry, as Grand Old Opry stars effortlessly moved back and forth between songs about the glories of honky-tonk women and songs about the mercies of the Old Rugged Cross.

To be sure, Cash’s Christian testimony is a mixed bag. In his later years, he took out an ad in an industry magazine, with a photograph of himself extending a middle finger to music executives. And yet there is something in the Cash appeal to the youth generation that Christians would do well to emulate.

Other Christian celebrities tried—and failed—to reach youth culture by feigning teenage street language or aping pop culture trends. How successful, after all, was Pat Boone’s embarrassing attempt at heavy metal—complete with a leather outfit and a spiked dog collar?

Cash always seemed to connect. When other Christian celebrities tried to down-play sin and condemnation in favor of upbeat messages about how much better life is with Jesus, Cash sang about the tyranny of guilt and the certainty of coming judgment. An angst-ridden youth culture may not have fully comprehended guilt, but they understood pain. And, somehow, they sensed Cash was for real.

The face of Johnny Cash reminded this generation that he has tasted everything the MTV culture has to offer—and found there a way that leads to death. In a culture that idolizes the hormonal surges of youth, Cash reminds the young of what MTV doesn’t want them to know: “It is appointed to man once to die, and after this the judgment.” His creviced face and blurring eyes remind them that there is not enough Botox in all of Hollywood to revive a corpse.

Cash wasn’t trying to be an evangelist—and his fellow Bible-belt Evangelicals knew it. But he was able to reach youth culture in a way the rest of us often can’t, precisely because he refused to sugarcoat or “market” the gospel in the “language” of today’s teenagers.

One of Cash’s final songs was also one of his best, an eerie tune based on the Book of Revelation. His haunting voice, filled with the tremors of approaching hoof-beats, sang the challenge: “The hairs on your arms will all stand up/ At the terror of each sip and each sup./ Will you partake of that last offered cup?/ Or disappear into the potter’s ground/ When the Man comes around?”

Cash’s young fans (and his old ones too) may not have known what he was talking about, but they sensed that he did. They recognized in Cash a sinner like them, but a sinner who mourned the tragedy of his past and found peace in One who bore terrors that make Folsom Prison pale in comparison.

The Dark Side

Johnny Cash is dead, and there will never be another. But all around us there are empires of dirt, and billions of self-styled emperors marching toward judgment.

Perhaps if Christian churches modeled themselves more after Johnny Cash, and less after perky Christian celebrities such as Kathy Lee Gifford, we might find ourselves resonating more with the MTV generation. Maybe if we stopped trying to be “cool,” and stopped hiring youth ministers who are little more than goateed game-show hosts, we might find a way to connect with a generation that understands pain and death more than we think.

Perhaps if we paid more attention to the dark side of life, a dark side addressed in divine revelation, we might find ourselves appealing to men and women in black. We might connect with men and women who know what it’s like to feel like fugitives from justice, even if they’ve never been to jail. We might offer them an authentic warning about what will happen when the Man comes around.

And, as we do this, we just might hear somewhere up in the cloud of witnesses a voice that once cried in the wilderness: “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash.”

Monday, November 21, 2005

A New kind of Politics

I just started reading "Who Speaks For God?" by Jim Wallis. I am loving it so far, I wish everyone who has a public voice and claimed to be a Christian was required to read it.

We have such a divided political landscape now days, and I think the church often is right in the middle of that divide. Here is what Wallis has to say about true "moral" politics, and I definatly agree:

"Religious values can help us find the path to a new politics. The spiritual politics that we need must be rooted in the values of compassion, community, and civility. These three can be viewed, in fact, as religious tests of politics.

COMPASSION is the first test of politics, from a religious perspective. A new politics of compassion would especially focus on those whom Jesus called "the least of these." It is a selective morality indeed that ignores the Bible's deep concerns about economic justice and racial reconciliation in a divided society. From the Religious Right we simply don't hear that cry being raised with the power of Jesus or of Amos, who called upon his hearers to "let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a flowing steam."

How do we treat the poor, the stranger, the outcast, the weak, the vulnerable, the children? The Hebrew prophets saw this as the truest criterion of a nation's integrity. With this measure of compassion as a moral beacon, we can move beyond the old categories of Left and Right as we make our way through the questions of social policy and welfare reform towards the alleviation of poverty. We must transcend the tired debates between defending old welfare bureaucracies or balancing the budget on the backs of our poorest children. Neither maintaining poverty nor abandoning the poor is a moral option.

The second test of politics is COMMUNITY—whether our political policies and processes build or destroy our common life. Martin Luther King once wrote that the choice before us was "chaos or community." Because we have rejected the latter we are now faced with the former. The breakdown of family and community in our nation must focus our attention on reweaving the fabric of life and relationships that has so seriously eroded. The gangs and violence that now plague even our middle-sized and small towns are a direct consequence of the breakdown of family, community, and economy. They all must be repaired.

A renewed sense of community at both local and national levels would aim at bridging our racial, economic, and social divides; and a politics of hope might offer 5the vision that both liberals and conservatives have failed to provide. Many people are already engaged across the country in grassroots efforts to fashion a new political community. Their stories and experience must become a part of the national discussion.

Our third test of politics is CIVILITY—the character of our public discourse and decision making, and the participation of ordinary people in the political process. The politics of warring factions, "us and them" rhetoric, and the polemics of fear and blame, must be seriously critiqued from a religious perspective. In particular the religious community must challenge the Right to stop blaming the poor, the urban underclass, the homeless, the blacks, the homosexuals, the feminists. And the liberals must be challenged to stop stereotyping and caricaturing evangelicals, conservatives, and religious commitment generally, or belittling "traditional," "moral," and "family" values.

We must try to find common ground by moving to higher ground on a whole range of issues, including some of the most incendiary issues like abortion and homosexuality. Could we not recognize both the sanctity of human life and the equality of women? Couldn't we strongly support the rebuilding of traditional two-parent families while we stop scapegoating homosexuals as if they are responsible for the breakdown of our families?"

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Chip Kidd - Book One

I just got Chip Kidd: Book One: Works 1986-2006. For those who don't know, Chip Kidd is the Michael Jordan of book cover design. The book is his complete works from 1986-2006, showing book covers, concept ideas and coments from clients. It is interesting to see some of the process behind such great covers. He shares the ideas behind what he designed and some interesting stories that go along with each design. To any Graphic designers out there, or anyone interested in good art, you should check out this book. I am very excited to dive into it.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Ashes to Ashes

Jenny has a new article up at Circle Six Magazine. It is this weeks "Faith" article. It is a great read with a lot of totaly right on points. Read her article Ashes to Ashes now.

Monday, October 31, 2005


I would like to extend a welcome to all the new readers I have gained over the last few days. Thank you for your interest. I encourage all of you to post a comment when you find something interesting, encouraging, thought provoking, or when you disagree with something. My desire for this blog is to have a place to keep in touch with friends and family, and put some thoughts down on pap... er, I mean, html. This is kind of like my personal journal, but I am seeking public input, as I am very much open to hear other opinions. More then anything else, I desire this place to be completely honest. I am a very open and honest person as many of you may know, I hope that anyone who reads this can feel the same way here.

I hope to always speak the truth, and I know I will come up short much of the time, so be patient with me and maybe we can all learn from each other. Remember, you cannot have truth without honesty.

Friday, October 28, 2005

A New Law

This is a new song by Derek Webb that will be out on his next Album, Mockingbird, in Dec.


A New Law by Derek Webb:

don't teach me about polotics and government
just tell me who to vote for
and don't teach me about truth and beauty
no, just label my music
and don't teach me how to live like a free man
no, just give me a new law

i don't wanna know if the answers aren't easy
so just bring it down from the mountain to me
i want a new law
i want a new law
just give me that new law

and don't teach me about moderation and liberty
i prefer a shot of grape juice
and don't teach me about Loving my enemies
and don't teach me how to listen to The Spirit
no, just give me a new law

i don't wanna know if the answers aren't easy
so just bring it down from the mountain to me
i want a new law
i want a new law
just give me that new law

'cause what's the use in trading a law you can never keep
for one you can that cannot get you anything
so do not be afraid
do not be afraid

It is so true, the church his always looking for a new law, a new stadard on what it means to be a Christian, rules to follow. Sometimes I think we missed the whole point of the Gospels. Any thoughts?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Redefining Relevance

I have been reading farther in the book I posted about earlier, A Matrix of Meanings, and I am getting to a point were I am having a hard time agreeing with him. Here is my reasoning.

First of, the church will never be relevant if it is trying to reach a "post modern" crowed, because post modernism died like 10 years ago. This generation, my generation, has grown tired of the "noise" of post-modernism. We no longer want everything all at once from every direction; we want something solid, something real. You are seeing a movement in young churches doing back to their roots, the truly relevant churches, turning back to TRUE Orthodoxy. We are using more hymns then we use to, we are exploring church history and embracing some forgotten traditions, not the traditions of materialism, hypocricy, gossip, greed, and over programing. We are see the effects now as my generation makes a mass exodus from the suburban mega churches we grew up in, the very churches that throw themselves face first into trying to be “relevant”, to the point of delivering us prepackaged, meaning less garbage. We want something real. The gospel is real.

In the book, the author states "There's no arguing that Generation X is largely unmoved by the language of traditional Christianity, but you don't see many church leaders wondering if maybe the message itself is the problem. With so few people believing in hell, what’s the point in getting so worked up about salvation, whether it’s by grace or otherwise?” arguing that “the message of Christianity does not communicate to people who have grown up in a world in which pop culture is amniotic fluid, largely because what religion talks about does not speak to the spiritual needs of today’s seeker.”

Well, I can tell you right now that the problem is not the message; the problem is the church has lost the message. It is buried under $500,000 sound systems and video screens, under banners advertising the next big thing in the Christian ghetto industry. When the modern church wakes up and realizes it has the truth in it’s hands, and that the Word of God does not lose relevance, that the word of God is not a list of what you “should” or “should not” do, it’s bigger then how you vote or whether you drink or smoke, then they will see my generation regain an interest.

We are no longer satisfied with the simple answers. We want to dig deeper. The reason the church is loosing a grip on our age group is because the church has become so watered down it has, as Toney Campolo put it, “neutered the gospel”. I have learned more about God, Theology, scripture, original language, and church history sitting around talking with friends then I ever did in church, because most churches refuses to serve us the meat of the gospel.

We are a generation screaming out for something genuine. A church can not be relevant until it understands this. We look at a church following 10 years behind pop culture and it is neither genuine nor relevant, who wants to be a part of that?

So, it boils down to this: “Keep it real!”

PS – We have been lucky to find a church that understands this. Thanks guys.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Radiohead and Christianity

I am currently reading "A Matrix of Meanings: Finding God in Pop Culture" by Craig Detweiler and Barry Taylor. Its a great read, I recommend it.

Anyway, I found this excert particularly interesting, not only because it is discussing one of my favorite bands, but I think there is a lot of truth to the statement he makes about the churchs desire to appear orthodox, to apear like we have it together more then we really do that makes the church seem so irrelevant to the world.

"The band's (Radiohead) approach offers some challenges as we think through a theology out of pop culture. The following statements by various band members demand particular reflection. Ed O'Brien, bass player, said, "We can't do anything exactly right. But that's what makes our sound." One of the banes of contemporary Christianity is its intence focus on orthodoxy. The problem is not orthodoxy but the fact that far too many people are running around making their particular theological posture the standard orthodox test. We all have glimpses of truth, but, to echo Paul, this side of the grave we all "see through a glass darkly." The desire to appear orthodox has led to a dearth of creativity in virtually every realm of the contemporary Christian experience, particularly the realms of theology and music. This streak of perfectionism, which runs deep in the American religious mindset, creates atmospheres of fear and trepidation, especially in regard to new ideas. Experimentation is a key ingredient of a contemporary theological construct.

A second point comes from vocalist Thom Yorke: "Aiming and missing is the whole premise." This does not mean to be wrong is right, but it affirms the need for room to fail and also the need to challenge right constructs by being wrong. The pop song demands on some level a degree of conformity. For the last forty years, the basic structure of the pop song has revolved around the verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus method. Along with this approach to the structure of songs has come a similar conformity in the formulation of vocabulary and sentiments. In this environment, originality is at a premium, as most artists tend to fall back on the mundane and the mediocre. That is why rhyming is a key element of pop songwriting–words have to fit and sound right. Rhyming helps this process. Unfortunatly, originality can get lost in the pursuit of the perfect rhyming word.

Radiohead bent and broke these rules both musically and lyrically. They allowed the athority of the lyrics to be controlled by technology. they abandoned standard pop song structure and format in search of new musical horizons. They re-created the rules and boundries of what a pop song is and what it can accomplish. Theology also needs to fiddle with its rules, not in random ways, but with a sense of experiment, excitement, and creativity."

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Sorry guys, we have been without internet for three weeks! Stupid Metronet decided they weren't going to provide to our building anymore, and gave us a 4 day notice. We signed up for Time-Warner's Roadrunner and they came out to the apartment and couldn't get the wireless to work on either of our computers, so then we signed up for SBS DSL and they made us subscribe to a house phone, sent us a modem and then waited a week to activate our line. I hate internet companies, why can't you just get what you need when you need it?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

New Orleans

Wow, have you guys been seeing this stuff? Its unbelievable! It's like a war zone down there. You always think, that no matter what happens, someone has a plan, someone has it figured out, help is on it's way, but when something like this happens it really changes your perspective.

CNN Coverage

It's like a third world country down there.

Jenny wrote a great faith piece on the recent events, this, the tidal wave, and 9/11, in her blog. I would encourage you all to read it.

Remember to pray for all those effected.
Jacob and Faith, you guys are certainly in our prayers.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

King v. Unit

King Felix faces his first real offensive challange since is call up tonight, against the Yankees, vs. Randy Johnson. Old vs. New, the future vs. the Past, best every Mariners pitcher vs. Best ever Mariners piching prospect. What an exciting game. Be sure to tune in or watch via's Gamecast (as I will be doing). 7PM Pacific time.

King Felix's line so far, after 5 starts:

Sunday, August 14, 2005


We had two sets of friends get married this weekend. We missed their weddings because we just move to MO and feel awful about it. There are hard things about moving away from so many people you love, its been great, but hard.

Our congratulation go out to our great freinds Kristina Ringland, and Nate Bown, who got married saturday in Camano Island, WA. We are praying for you and are really happy for you. You guys need ot get out here and go to some cool Jazz clubs with us soon!

Also, Missy and Jason Small got married in Boise, ID saturday. We are also so very happy for the two of you. Missy, I am sad that I havn't been able to meet Jason yet, and you need to meet Jenny. I guess we have a reunion coming up in a year or two.

Love you guys, congrats!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

King Felix's Home Debut!

Us Mariners fans don't have much to cheer for these days, but last night was the home debut of the best prospect the system has seen since A-Rod. Felix Hernandez, the 19 year old phenom made his second start of the season, the first coming last week in Detroit (5IP 3H 2R 1ER 4K on 75 pitch leash), and he was brilliant. No only did he pitch 8 innings of shut out ball, but he did it with complet control, and poise. He looked like a season vetren out there, AT 19 YEARS OLD! Becoming the first teenage starter since Jose Rijo in 1984 to get a win. On top of that he made a couple of excelent defensive plays that made him look like he was right at home on the Safco Field mound. I expect many great things to come from this kid.

Felix's line last night:
8IP 5H 0R 0ER 0BB 6SO

He threw 94 pitches, 71 of them for strikes (75.5%)

His fastball topped out at 98 mph (4 times)

See what the press is saying:
Seattle PI
Tacoma New Tribune
Seattle Times (Bob Finnigan)
Seattle Times (Larry Stone)
Baseball Prospectus

above stats taken from

Sunday, July 31, 2005

New photos up!

I finally got some pictures of our new place uploaded. We still have a little work to do, we diffinatly need more artwork on the walls, but here is a little tour of the place. The bottom row has a few pictures of the July 4th Mariners game (thats right, I refuse to call it a "Royals" game when they are playing the Mariners). There is a great shot of Ichiro! doing his little, "wax on" routine.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Christian Paradox

How a faithful nation gets Jesus wrong: What it means to be Christian in America.
An excerpt. Originally from Harper's August 2005. By Bill McKibben.

Only 40 percent of Americans can name more than four of the Ten Commandments, and a scant half can cite any of the four authors of the Gospels. Twelve percent believe Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife. This failure to recall the specifics of our Christian heritage may be further evidence of our nation’s educational decline, but it probably doesn’t matter all that much in spiritual or political terms. Here is a statistic that does matter: Three quarters of Americans believe the Bible teaches that “God helps those who help themselves.” That is, three out of four Americans believe that this uber-American idea, a notion at the core of our current individualist politics and culture, which was in fact uttered by Ben Franklin, actually appears in Holy Scripture. The thing is, not only is Franklin’s wisdom not biblical; it’s counter-biblical. Few ideas could be further from the gospel message, with its radical summons to love of neighbor. On this essential matter, most Americans—most American Christians—are simply wrong, as if 75 percent of American scientists believed that Newton proved gravity causes apples to fly up.

Asking Christians what Christ taught isn’t a trick. When we say we are a Christian nation—and, overwhelmingly, we do—it means something. People who go to church absorb lessons there and make real decisions based on those lessons; increasingly, these lessons inform their politics. (One poll found that 11 percent of U.S. churchgoers were urged by their clergy to vote in a particular way in the 2004 election, up from 6 percent in 2000.) When George Bush says that Jesus Christ is his favorite philosopher, he may or may not be sincere, but he is reflecting the sincere beliefs of the vast majority of Americans.

And therein is the paradox. America is simultaneously the most professedly Christian of the developed nations and the least Christian in its behavior. That paradox—more important, perhaps, than the much touted ability of French women to stay thin on a diet of chocolate and cheese—illuminates the hollow at the core of our boastful, careening culture.

* * *
Ours is among the most spiritually homogenous rich nations on earth. Depending on which poll you look at and how the question is asked, somewhere around 85 percent of us call ourselves Christian. Israel, by way of comparison, is 77 percent Jewish. It is true that a smaller number of Americans—about 75 percent—claim they actually pray to God on a daily basis, and only 33 percent say they manage to get to church every week. Still, even if that 85 percent overstates actual practice, it clearly represents aspiration. In fact, there is nothing else that unites more than four fifths of America. Every other statistic one can cite about American behavior is essentially also a measure of the behavior of professed Christians. That’s what America is: a place saturated in Christian identity.

But is it Christian? This is not a matter of angels dancing on the heads of pins. Christ was pretty specific about what he had in mind for his followers. What if we chose some simple criterion—say, giving aid to the poorest people—as a reasonable proxy for Christian behavior? After all, in the days before his crucifixion, when Jesus summed up his message for his disciples, he said the way you could tell the righteous from the damned was by whether they’d fed the hungry, slaked the thirsty, clothed the naked, welcomed the stranger, and visited the prisoner. What would we find then?

In 2004, as a share of our economy, we ranked second to last, after Italy, among developed countries in government foreign aid. Per capita we each provide fifteen cents a day in official development assistance to poor countries. And it’s not because we were giving to private charities for relief work instead. Such funding increases our average daily donation by just six pennies, to twenty-one cents. It’s also not because Americans were too busy taking care of their own; nearly 18 percent of American children lived in poverty (compared with, say, 8 percent in Sweden). In fact, by pretty much any measure of caring for the least among us you want to propose—childhood nutrition, infant mortality, access to preschool—we come in nearly last among the rich nations, and often by a wide margin. The point is not just that (as everyone already knows) the American nation trails badly in all these categories; it’s that the overwhelmingly Christian American nation trails badly in all these categories, categories to which Jesus paid particular attention. And it’s not as if the numbers are getting better: the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported last year that the number of households that were “food insecure with hunger” had climbed more than 26 percent between 1999 and 2003.

This Christian nation also tends to make personal, as opposed to political, choices that the Bible would seem to frown upon. Despite the Sixth Commandment, we are, of course, the most violent rich nation on earth, with a murder rate four or five times that of our European peers. We have prison populations greater by a factor of six or seven than other rich nations (which at least should give us plenty of opportunity for visiting the prisoners). Having been told to turn the other cheek, we’re the only Western democracy left that executes its citizens, mostly in those states where Christianity is theoretically strongest. Despite Jesus’ strong declarations against divorce, our marriages break up at a rate—just over half—that compares poorly with the European Union’s average of about four in ten. That average may be held down by the fact that Europeans marry less frequently, and by countries, like Italy, where divorce is difficult; still, compare our success with, say, that of the godless Dutch, whose divorce rate is just over 37 percent. Teenage pregnancy? We’re at the top of the charts. Personal self-discipline—like, say, keeping your weight under control? Buying on credit? Running government deficits? Do you need to ask?

Monday, July 18, 2005

Please Pray

I have a long time family friend from church who was fatily injured in a motorcycle accident sunday afternoon. Please pray for her husband, family and friends. I don't really know what else to say about it. I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of how it must feel to lose a spouse.

Monday, July 11, 2005

We may have found a church!

We tryed a church this sunday called Trinity Nazarene. We were sucked in somewere between the "Christian Social Justice Group", the Open Conversation on "God in Politics", and the Fine Arts Ministry. But besides all that, the message was great, the music was good, and the people were awesome. This church is very similar to one Jenny attended in college, in fact it had a couple people from that church going here. I also found out two of my friends from college attended there too, Krystal Lober and Megan Selby! It was good to see them again, and we are excited about the possiablities of this become our church home in KC. A nazarene church that cares about social justice and art, and allows for open conversation on anything, let alone politics. Could it be true?!?!
We sure hope so.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

A Chord of Three Strands

Jenny got an article published in Circle 6 magazine!!!

Here is the article: "A Choard of Three Strands"

She also has a blog now. Check it out, she is an amazing writer so I am sure there will be some great reads posted on there sometime soon.

In other related news, she got a job offer that is really great, she has not accepted it yet, but she probably will. It is going to pay more then she was making in Olympia and they have already offered her a higher position then the one she applied for in the first place. Pray for God's hand in her decision. Thanks!

Photos of our new place, and the 4th of July will be coming soon, I promise. We need to find the USB cable for the camera.

Friday, June 24, 2005

We made it!

Sorry about the dealy, we had an uneventful trip out to KC and we got here Thursday night the 16th. We moved in all day Friday. We love our new place, its perfect. I started my job Monday and it has been great as well. Pray for Jenny in her job search.

We will have some pictures of our new place soon, I promise.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Last Day of Work!

This is my last day at ReachONE and Jenny's last day at WIRB! I am going to miss it here, I worked with some amazing people.

We got the apartment finalized and we will be headed out to Kansas City on tuesday.

This is going to be a busy weekend of packing.
Keep us in prayer, see ya in about a week!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Be creative!

This is a cool little flash-based scratch-pad called Art Pad.

Here is mine, now you give it a try!,

Coldplay - X&Y

I picked up the new Coldplay album, X&Y yesterday, its very good. I little less piano then the last album, but a lot more guitar, like the first album. They have firmly positioned themselves to be the next U2 with this one. As my friend Jacob said in his review of the album at Circle 6, "Buckland apparently stole the Edge's effect board to get his delays". But, you all know how much I love U2, so I can think of worse bands to sound similar to.

Anyways, if you haven't, check out X&Y, its money. I especially like the song White Shadows.
Good album art design as well!

Friday, June 03, 2005

KC Update!

Jenny and I will be leaving for Kansas City on June 13-14th. We both have our last day of work in Olympia on the 10th. I start at NPH on the 20th.

I just put an apartment on hold for us in the River Market District of Kansas City. We are renting a 990 sq ft., 1 bedroom, 1 bath loft with a study in this building. The floor plan is kind of like this one , but a little difrent in shape. We are so excited about living in this area!

Now we can be cool urban people....

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


What Would J.R. Listen To?

(I am sure you all are dying to know)

This is a handy little plug in that lets you know what I have been listening to in iTunes, when I should be working.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


I just accepted an offer to go work at the Nazarene Publishing House.

This means a move half way across the country for my wife and I, it is located in Kansas City, MO. We have been praying about it (and so have you guys, you just didn't know it) and feel this is were God is leading us. It is hard because we love Washington, and as of now are planning on returning someday. I just dropped the news to my boss a few minutes ago and he was very supportive and happy for me, he even prayed with me about it.

This is the same place I did my internship in the summer of 2000, I will be working with one of my best friends Branond Hill.

Continue to pray for us as we proceed in this course. We need to get the moving all worked out and find a place to live. We were thinking of renting a downtown apartment or near the plaza and be urban dwellers for a few years, so that should be a fun adventure.

Thanks to everyone who prayed for us.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Music Baton Passing...

One Mr. Joshua Hynes has passed me the music iTuning baton.
I dropped it after the pass, but I am catching the rest of the pack heading into the second corner...

Total volume of music files on my computer: 33.63 GB.

The last CDs I bought were:
"Stand Up" by Dave Matthews Band and "Drunkard's Prayer" by Over The Rhine

Song playing right now:
"Go With The Glow" by Queens Of The Stone Age

Five songs I listen(ed) to a lot (recently):
1) "Speed Of Sound" by Coldplay
2) "Go It Alone" by Beck
3) "Louisiana Bayou" by Dave Matthews Band
4) "Ballad In Plain Red" by Derek Webb
5) "Born" by Over The Rhine

Five people to whom I'm passing the baton:
Brandon Hill
Telfer (and/or) Andrea Griffith
Amanda Marble
Drew Smith
Jason Wilcox

Friday, May 13, 2005

Prayer Request

Could you guys keep me in prayer this weekend, I can't say why, but know that its a good thing, so don't worry. I may have more details soon.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Madison (the movie)

My wife and I went to see this last night. Most of you may have never heard of it, but it was good. I may be a bit biased as I have grown up around hydroplane racing my whole life. My dad and I were crew memebers on a hydroplane from the time I was about 8 til I left for college. It was fun to see a movie about a sport I am so passionate about. From a historical standpoint, they got a lot of the facts wrong, but it was a good movie non-the-less.

Here is the website

If it is playing in a theater in your area support an independent film and go see it! If you liked Hoosiers (and who doesn't?), you will like Madison.

Here is the trailer

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Crop Walk

Jenny and I did the Crop Walk this year, a 10k walk to raise money to fight world poverty and hunger. It was last Sunday and we walked from the Capitol building in Olympia, down around the lake and over to the brewery, then back to the Capitol. We got our youth group involved; it was a lot of fun.

This is one thing I like a lot about our new church; it seems to focus more on what we CAN do to have a positive effect on the world around us instead of what a lot of Christian churches do in complaining about the things we cannot change.

If you have a Crop Walk in your area I would encourage anyone to get involved.

Also, on a similar note, check this out, sign up and take action:

Friday, April 29, 2005


I told you!

We had a blast, it was a great vacation.

Friday, April 15, 2005


Jenny and I are leaving this afternoon for So-Cal. We will be spending a few days in the LA area with her grandparents then headed down to Pt. Loma in San Diego, we are going to stay in the alumni house at PLNU. We got some Padres tickets and are hoping to visit the Zoo and maybe Sea World, well see. Mostly Jenny is going to show me her old "hood".

I'll have pictures for you all when I return!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Irony at its best, hypocisy at its worset.

'Left Behind' Authors Blast End-Times Mini-Series as 'Unbiblical, Weird'

Read The Article

some choice quotes:

Jerry Jenkins, novelist of the "Left Behind" series, which has sold 62 million copies since its debut in 1995, said "Revelations" is "a mishmash of myth, silliness, and misrepresentations of Scripture."

"'Revelations seems to draw from everywhere and nowhere," said Jenkins.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Two new Derek Webb songs!

I am guessing these will be on his new live dvd coming out this summer. Again he seems to have opened up my skull and come inside my head and efectivly said in song what I have a hard time saying in words. Thank you Derek for kicking my arse.

A King and a Kingdom:

Who’s your brother, who’s your sister
You’ll just walk past him, think you missed her
As we’re all migrating to a place where our Father lives
Cause we married into a family of immigrants

So my first allegiance is not to a flag, a country or a man
My first allegiance is not to democracy or blood
It’s to a King and a Kingdom

There are two great lies that I’ve heard
The day you eat of the fruit of that tree you will not surely die
And that Jesus Christ was white, middle class, republican
And if you wanna be saved you have to learn to be like him

Repeat chorus

And nothing unifies like a common enemy
And we’ve got one sure as hell
He may be living in your house
He may be raising up your kids
He may be sleeping with your wife
Or he may not look like you think

Rich Young Ruler:

Is so hard to see
When it’s only on your TV
Or 20 miles across town

Where we’re all living so good
We moved out of Jesus’ neighborhood
Where He’s hungry and not feeling so good
For going through our trash

He says “More than just your cash and coin
I want your time, I want your voice
I want the things you just can’t give me”

“So what must we do
Here in the west we want to follow you
We speak the language and keep all the rules
Even a few that we made up”

“So come and follow me
Sell your house, sell your SUV
Sell your stocks, sell your security
Give it to the poor”

“What is this, hey what’s the deal
I don’t sleep around and I don’t steal
I want the things you just can’t give me
I want the things you just can’t give me”

“Cuz what you do to the least of these
My brothers you have done it to me
Cuz I want the things you just can’t give me
I want the things you just can’t give me”

Monday, March 21, 2005

You've created nothing that gives me more pleasure then you.

David spent almost all of his young life in the fields, saturated by God’s majestic creation, yet he never let it overtake the gladness he found in fellowship with Him. So often I find myself manufacturing contentment with the petty things that I am meant to forsake. I believe that if I were to throw myself toward the minute-by-minute confrontation of the gospel, as David did, I would discover that God did not put anything among, around or inside of me that achieves even a loose definition of satisfaction when compared to God and the beauty of His grace. I truly desire to have an understanding of God’s presence and mercy that compels me to supernatural joy, but for now, I still seem to be obsessing with the things that God gives me, instead of His presence alone.
--Joshua Moore

Thursday, March 17, 2005

New Website Launched by CainesDesign

I launched a website I have been working on as a freelance project last night at like 12:30. I am pretty dead tired today, but here it is:

I use to crew for these guys in High School, my dad was the Crew Chief back then.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Eugene Peterson Interview

The Article

How do we know when they have moved from merely adapting ministry to the culture to sacrificing the gospel?

One test I think is this: Am I working out of the Jesus story, the Jesus methods, the Jesus way? Am I sacrificing relationship, personal attention, personal relationship for a shortcut, a program so I can get stuff done? You can't do Jesus' work in a non-Jesus way and get by with it—although you can be very "successful."

Friday, March 04, 2005

Fantasy Baseball

Well, I drafted my team the other day for the CircleSix Fantasy Baseball League. Here is who I got:

C - V. Martinez (Cle - C) 
1B - C. Delgado (Fla - 1B) 
2B - L. Castillo (Fla - 2B)
3B - M. Mora (Bal - 3B)
SS - C. Guillen (Det - SS) 
OF - C. Beltran (NYM - OF) 
OF - V. Wells (Tor - OF)
OF - C. Lee (Mil - OF) 
Util - D. Wright (NYM - 3B)
BN - J. Bay (Pit - OF)
BN - J. Estrada (Atl - C)
BN - J. Guillen (Was - OF)

P - J. Santana (Min - P)
P - B. Lidge (Hou - P)
P - J. Peavy (SD - P) 
P - Ol. Perez (Pit - P) 
P - E. Guardado (Sea - P) 
BN - Od. Perez (LAD - P) 
BN - D. Baez (TB - P)

Looks like it could be a big season, or could be a weak one, we'll see. I am counting on a lot of young guys to have break out seasons, could be risky.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


Well, its Ash Wednesday, and I know what I am going to give up for lent.

This year I am giving up criticism; this is something I have struggled with a lot my whole life, I think my own criticisms distract me from God, and mostly from living Christ like.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Teen Group

Jenny and I are starting a teen group at our new church, as we are really the only people withing 20 years of the age of the teens. It should be fun, but a lot of work. There are about 5 teens that we know of so far, so we have a lot of work to do. Pray for us, our first group is next sunday evening. We are going to watch Napolian Dynomite, what better way to kick off a youth group?

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Garden State

Jenny and I rented this last weekend. Great movie if you can get through the first few scenes. The first few scenes he is getting reacquainted with his high school friends and they are a bunch of stoners, but it is well worth it to hold out because the rest of the movie is great. I love these newer "romantic comedies" (Eternal Sunshine…) were the relationships have the weirdness and quarks of real life, not the fake sappiness of most movies labeled "romantic comedies".

So, see it if you haven't! Great soundtrack too!

Monday, January 17, 2005

The unrest in my soul.

I have been thinking, and reading a lot lately, I have gotten back into the bible on a daily bases again and its wonderful, but painful. I just wanted to share some of the things I have been struggling with.

I am begining to feel unrest in my soul, I want more, I want to want less. I want to be completely sold out to Christ I want to hold nothing back from Him and what He has for me to do on Earth. I am tired of holding things back from God, I am sick of justifying away my sins. I want to do all these things for Him instead of making myself look better. Who am I to think I deserve anything? What makes me think that I should be able to have a new car, or buy a house, or an iPod or a new computer? Who am I to think God needs to bless me with more then eternal salvation and a life with Him?

I rejoice that I am finally feeling unrest with my complacency; I pray that my unrest doesn't end. I feel guilty, prideful, arrogant, ignorant, angry, scared, and completely loved. Now comes the hard part, changing. Anyone want to join me? Atleast pray for me to be completly Christ centered, I want to have the faith that says "leave everything and follow me".

Friday, January 14, 2005

No Snow Yet!

I have been waiting for snow for the last two weeks, the weather man is a tease!

I found this to hold me over thoguht.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Top 10 Movies of 2004

Note: some of these came out in theaters in 2003, but on DVD in 2004, and I saw all of them in 2004.

1. Napoleon Dynamite
2. The Passion of the Christ
3. Big Fish (2003)
4. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
5. The Motorcycle Diaries
6. Saved!
7. The Terminal
8. Secondhand Lions (2003)
9. The Station Agent (2003)
10. Miracle

Here are some movies I really want to see that were released in 2004:
The Aviator
Ocean's Twelve
Meet The Fockers
Life Aquatic